Having now started to work my way through this inquiry, it is a remarkable achievement on the part of our colleagues in History and their pupils. I am hopeful that Susanna, who took the lead on this, might be able to find some time to reflect briefly on the design and inquiry process. I am also hopeful that we might soon be able to share the fantastic resources that Susanna created to support this inquiry.
Having spent some time working with Barbara Stripling on her Epistemology & Learning Memo – Learning to know and understand through inquiry – Seymour Papert’s assertion that the kind of knowledge that children most need is knowledge that will help them get more knowledge is fresh in my mind. Barbara picked up on this in her reflection on the foundational influence of John Dewey’s educational philosophy on her approach to learning through inquiry – from Dewey’s recognition of the need for both content and skills, she recognized that “skills must be integrated into the teaching of content to enable learners comprehend information and build knowledge”. This crucial balance – knowledge of the discipline’s content and knowledge of the inquiry process/ skills – is clear in the learning intentions statement for the first lesson in this inquiry (see below), and it will be highly instructive for us to consider the outworking of this more closely, for example, how this builds on existing knowledge of the FOSIL inquiry process and skills from the imminent Year 7 English Inquiry – Science Fictional Writing.